Saturday, August 16, 2008

And when I lose my will / you´ll be right there to push me up that hill

No one really knew how to make a record when I started. You simply went into the studio, turned on the mike and said play.
Jerry Wexler

So messed up I want you here / In my room I want you here

Last night I almost caught a burglar.

It’s amazing what a bit of adrenalin does for one’s bravado. Without that adrenaline I seriously doubt if I would’ve leapt naked after the guy with a torch in our living room.

And if I’d not been naked maybe he wouldn’t have run quite so fast. If our roles were reversed I guess I’d be out of there rather quickly if somebody a good foot taller, and somewhat wider, came running out a room undressed wailing obscenities.

When you throw two dogs into the mix, bearing in mind that most Muslims are terrified of the things (why do I think he was a Muslim? I’ll get to that) it’s no wonder he ran down the hall, out the jimmied window and over the wall with such rapid acceleration.

Yesterday was a shit of a day. Actually most of it was ok, but both Brigid and I were exhausted after she’d had to go to Yogyakarta the day before and I’d had to do the dawn airport delivery and late night pickup. At 11pm last night we’d had a call to go to a warehouse to supervise an issue with an overfull container due to ship but fraught with problem. We’d got home at 1am and gone to bed, to be woken, at 4am, by the dogs, Star, our nervy Bali dog, and Chippy, the dachshund with a Napoleon complex and the sort of ears and nose that generations of hunting badgers gets you.

We’re used to it..the odd night where the dogs go ballistic over a cat, water monitor, or bloody civet on the roof and run around the room and the bathroom attached, like obsessed wall climbing howling lunatics. It lasts five minutes and then back to sleep…pushing one or both of us off the bed as they position themselves for maximum comfort. There has to be a reason why humans accept this and manoeuvre themselves to cause the animal minimum discomfort whilst we hang off the side of the bed.

Last night was different…they were surly and aggravated..a little like the way they react to the power guy (since electricity has recently doubled in price in Indonesia, we do not discourage this..make the bastards earn it). So I got up and wandered the house followed by the dogs, and found nothing.

Ironically Brigid had said earlier that night that we were getting lax with our security, and I'd locked our outside bedroom door for the first time in months.

We settled the dogs but Chippy sat on the end of the bed snarling quietly periodically for about five minutes and then leapt off barking furiously again. I got up and saw a light in the living room through a window...quite clearly a torch, so, without thinking rationally I loudly opened the door and ran into the room, following by, now, highly agitated dogs. The small guy, in a white t-shirt took off and the screaming and barking began.

It was over in about 3 minutes. He was gone. The dogs were doing perimeter patrol and I was reflecting on how stupid I was to leap naked at a guy who may have had a machete or knife.

And I put on some clothes.

He took nothing, dropping the laptop I’m writing this on now, harmlessly it seems and within 15 minutes the police arrived. The single detective was thorough and very helpful. I’ve been critical of Indonesian police quite a few times on this blog, and with good reason, but on a one to one level like this I’ve always found them to be helpful, friendly and professional..unlike some of the surly, arrogant pricks I’ve had the misfortune to deal with in New Zealand (noting of course that such is not always the case at all).

He asked me what the guy was wearing (we found his flipflops out the back..he’d left them in his dogs-and-naked-bulé driven rush to leave). I told him. He asked me his height. I told him. He asked me what colour his hair was. I didn’t know what to say….all Indonesians have black hair.

We talked about whom it may have been and were reminded that this is both the beginning of Galungan, one of the most important religious periods in the Balinese calendar, and a full moon. Both meant it was unlikely to be a Balinese. When you throw in the impending Ramadan period, when Orang Jawa are expected to return to Jawa, to their villages..a big expense for a labourer here (most of whom are Javanese)..and this means there is, at this time every year, a huge upswing on this sort of petty crime.

And despite the fact that the prick wanted my valuable laptop, it is petty crime, so I’m a little uncomfortable with the advice a few burglarteamhave given us (not the cop) run out screaming Maling! Maling! Maling! (Thief! Thief! Thief!). The local neighbourhood then comes out and takes chase, usually resulting in the death of the offender by beating or hacking. This is something I know I can’t deal with at any level. It’s a barbarity that simmers below the surface that I really have an issue with. Plus, if I'd run naked into the street screaming anything at 4am, chances are I'd be the one with a problem.

The policeman left about 6 and we finally went back to sleep, with one small dachshund determined to stay alert on guard duty the whole time, on the end of the bed, where she never usually sits, watching the door.

We love our dogs. They had Chicken satay for breakfast.


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Friday, August 15, 2008

oh I do like to be beside the seaside...

the tourists are here...